- Maria Greco
"Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."
St. Maximilian Kolbe
In my own experience, I've come across many people, even amongst Catholics, who do not quite understand why one should pray to the Blessed Mother and "not directly to God." There seems to be a disconnect and a willful ignorance as to choosing not to pray to Mary. In True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort, the saint speaks about the honor and respect we give to God by approaching His beloved Mother and imploring her intercession. If Mary is truly the Mother of God, which she is, is it not right and just that all should honor and revere her? The only one to be filled with all grace because she found favor with God, and who was raised to the sublime dignity as Mother of God, desires to intercede and pray for you. Who would refuse asking for her prayers? Who would refuse asking the Spouse of the Holy Spirit to pray for them? As Catholics, we worship God through Mary.
"Mary the temple, Christ the temple's Lord; Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored."
A priest had once said that Mary does not put herself in the way of the soul and God. Rather, She takes God's Hand and the soul's hand, and puts them together. She truly is the mirror of Christ and she only points to Jesus. Without Him, she would fail to be who she is. St. Louis De Montfort had written that Christ is the Sun and Mary is the Moon. She radiates the Sun's light. Her beauty is God's beauty. Her whole being "proclaims the greatness of the Lord" and her spirit rejoices in God her Savior, because "He has looked with favor on His lowly servant." Her profound humility invites boundless treasures of grace into her soul. She truly is the perfect Handmaid of the Lord. When we draw near to Mary, she draws near to us and brings the soul directly to her Son.
"Jesus Christ after having given us all He could give, that is to say, the merit of his toils, His sufferings, and His bitter death; after having given us His Adorable Body and Blood to be the Food of our souls, willed also to give us the most precious thing He had left, which as His holy Mother.”
St. Jean Vianney
To live pure and holy lives, there is no better and safer way than remaining under Our Lady's mantle and by holding her hand through the Rosary. The Rosary must be understood as it truly is, a chain that connects us to Heaven. Through the Rosary, one can obtain everything. This beautiful prayer, which was St. John Paul's favorite prayer, is simply imploring Our Lady to lead us through the Sacred Mysteries. It is to enter into her heart and be taught at the school of Christ.
“Never will anyone who says his Rosary every day be led astray. This is a statement that I would gladly sign with my blood.”
St. Louis DeMontfort
To pray to God through Mary, we pray more perfectly because of her sublimity. Our prayer is more pleasing to God when offered through her. Jesus refuses nothing from His Queen. St. Louis DeMontfort explains how Our Lady takes our intentions, our good works, everything we present to her and she, so to speak, places it on a gold platter and adorns it with her precious virtues, merits and then presents it to the King. Mary is our Mother, and what good Mother wants anything but the best for her child? She being the perfect Mother, can we even imagine what she desires for her children? We are forever indebted to her and for her.
"We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to thee so that thou may purify them, sanctify them and present them to thy Son as a perfect offering."
Throughout our lives we will experience both valleys and hills. Times of joy and times of sadness. Times where we will find ourselves in darkness and times where we will find ourselves basking in the light. Tribulations and trials of all sorts will come to us, and we will have enter into the battle. We must remember and never forget that our Mother is the Queen of both Heaven and Earth and will always come to our aid. When we fall, she will encourage us to stand. When we are lonely, her maternal embrace will be our comfort. When we are lost and confused, she will take us by the hand and lead us along the right and sure path. She will ensure that her children arrive safely to the port of Heaven. She will ensure that her children are led to the Father's embrace. Let us implore Mary and incessantly plead for her intercession. She will never fail us.
"As the apostle St. Paul says of our Lord, 'He became for us, by God’s power, our wisdom and justice, our holiness and redemption.' Mary then, as mother of Christ, is the mother of our wisdom and justice, of our holiness and redemption. She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our holiness, our wisdom, our justice, our sanctification, our redemption."
St. Aelred of Rievaulx
She loves you and will never forsake you. Pray to her, and like a good mother, the best of all mothers, she will come in haste to help you.
St. Louis DeMontfort, pray for us.
Mary the Dawn hymn
Auxilium Christianorum prayer